You can jump into the larger conversation on the importance of seeking criticism in ministry here.
As I understand it a meltdown at a nuclear power plant doesn’t happen without warning. Prolonged and unchecked reactions build up over a period of time on the way to disaster, however there are plenty of opportunities as it happens to stop things from becoming catastrophic.
Criticism becomes a problem when it is ignored or avoided.
Throughout this series the overarching issue has been that we don’t like to be criticized. This fear is what leads to something really damaging and painful.
Rookie Pastors looking to develop their leadership can’t just seek criticism they have to be intentional.
Figure out a system of some kind that forces you to ask for honest feedback on a regular basis. This may take the shape of something formal, but more than that I think it is an attitude.
After each sermon seek someone out. At staff meetings let those you serve with speak into what you are doing. Before you send out a mass email let someone else review it. These practices may not lead to immediate results, but over time they will. The feedback you receive may not be crucial to your leadership but the humility you exhibit will.
People make passing comments. An email. It gets back to you second-hand.
You decide not to pursue it further citing that they were blowing off steam. You reply to their email and take their lack or response for reconciliation. Or since they didn’t come to you directly you decide not to sink to their level.
Leaders lead. The criticism that hurts does because of the immature way it is delivered or due to the immature way it is received. Be mature and have the conversation you’ve been avoiding.